Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...

This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


ANTICOLONIAL zines, stickers, actions, power

Taala Hooghan Infoshop

Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual AID


The group for direct action against the prison state!

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO
(accept no substitutions)



PHOENIX: Trans Queer Pueblo


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ASPC-Eyman suicide: Joaquin Tamayo, 41.

Another state prisoner has fallen victim to suicide; my condolences to his loved ones. If anyone out there knows anything about Joaquin's life or death, please contact me. My name is Peggy Plews; I can be reached at 480-580-6807 or I investigate and blog about abuse and neglect in the state prisons, among other things.

Joaquin's survivors need to know that there's a class action suit against the AZ DOC right now over the mis-treatment of seriously mentally ill prisoners, and that under the current administration the prisoner suicide rate doubled almost immediately...suggesting that at least every other suicide under Director Charles Ryan might have been prevented under a different administrator. They should retain an attorney as soon as possible to get to the bottom of Joaquin's suicide, not just for their own peace of mind, either: finding out what happened to him may spare others from a similar fate.

If Joaquin has no survivors, then it's on those of you in the community who knew and cared about him, despite his past crimes and the symptoms of his illness, to contact me and tell his story. I can tell from court records that people were trying to keep him out of prison - he wasn't even competent when he committed the crimes he was sentenced for. His criminal record is already public and condemns him, absent anyone amplifying his voice - don't let HIPAA or other formalities keep him exiled from the community and invisible in death now, too. Please contact me sooner rather than me help the other people following Joaquin to Supermax who you know will die there, wrongfully and horribly. The public needs to know that "criminals" like Joaquin are still human, or the terror such prisoners face will never end.